A question from Stephanie:
I love this q&a series. I would love to know more about how you fit blogging into your busy life? I am still trying to manage that one.
The short answer is, I don’t!
When I started this blog almost 18 months ago it was with the purpose of sharing tips and tricks regarding our journey to financial freedom. It quickly became much more as I realized I had a lot to say about everything! In the beginning I had a handful of people reading my blog and it was easy to respond to comments, regularly visit other blogs, and answer emails, there just weren’t that many.
Today things are much different. As much as I would like to I cannot answer every email, comment, and read all the blogs of people who visit mine (although I still visit many). I struggle with feelings of guilt because I don’t want to let my readers down by ignoring them or not helping them with a problem. But, my family is my first priority. They come before the blog, comments, emails, twitter, facebook, and everything else I do in my free time.
Free time. What is free time? I once told my friend I can only do a certain number of things well at any given time. It seems if we are doing well with homeschooling and eating healthy the house is a wreck. If the house is clean I am behind on laundry. If the house and clothes are clean and school is going well we are probably eating Lucky Charms for dinner.
So where does blogging fit in to my jam packed life as a military wife and homeschooling mom of 7?
I like love blogging and people have told me they benefit from my posts. It is important to me to make time in my schedule to maintain this site. It is more important that I home school my kids, cook dinner, read my bible, read to my kids, clean my house, and do many other things. As long as I am getting the most important things done in my life then I think spending several hours a week on my site isn’t a big deal, because that is how I am choosing to schedule my time.
Schedule blogging? Yes… even my blog has to stay on a schedule or it would quickly take over my life! I try to write all my weekly posts on the weekend. This usually takes a few hours, since I am writing 7 to 10 posts. I then schedule them to post throughout the week. I do occasionally write posts throughout the week, but since Cora has been born I haven’t had much time to write during the week. I do try to respond to emails (although lately that hasn’t happened) and interact on twitter. But basically I am always behind.
My head is filled with ideas for this site, but because my time is limited many of them might not happen for a while. In the next few months I hope to start a radio show, create a forum for this site, edit several cooking videos, expand the Coupon for Troops program, create a few screen casts, host several more giveaways, plus I have 25 unfinished posts sitting in drafts and a notebook full of ideas!
Here is one tip I have for those of you blogging and struggling with a balance. Do not create pressure on yourself by participating in every meme, obsessing over stats, or relentlessly promoting your site. I can assure you that good, consistent writing will build readership over time. You will receive more comments, over time. A popular blog does not happen overnight (well it can, but those people are spending 60 + hours a week on their site). If the site is not your job then treat it like any other hobby in your life. Work on it when you have time but keep it in perspective.
I try not to sit down at the computer if there are other pressing things that need to be done. How you define pressing is probably different than how I define pressing but I don’t like to sit at the computer while chaos unfolds around me.
So, if there is dirty laundry piled high or dirty dishes in the sink, I am not on the computer until those jobs are completed. I am not going to work on the blog while my kids watch cartoons instead of working on school.
So I guess, what I am saying is that I am always struggling to find the balance. But I much prefer blog guilt to mommy guilt. While I think it is fine to blog and read blogs don’t let it take over your life. Figure out your priorities and decide where blogging fits. If you think it is taking over your life take a break from blogging for a while and reconnect with the world around you.
This post is linking to Works for Me Wednesday.